Christian Constant’s Les Cocottes Arc de Triomphe — Another Triumph

les cocottesChristian Constant’s deuxieme Les Cocottes at the Sofitel Hotel near the Arc De Triomphe provides another triumph of his inventive cuisine.  Sleek in design, with expert wait staff and a smart wine menu to complement his cuisine, Les Cocottes is one of the better values in Paris for what it provides.  No dish will disappoint.  With staple classics like his Cesar Ritz salad (best caesar salad in the world), foie gras and deviled eggs for starters and, when in season, his fabulous cassoulet, every dish is thoughtfully presented and plat is masterfully cooked — usually in a cocottes.   And, to top it off, my favorite dessert, millefeuille, is simply superb. Read More »

Printemps à Paris (Spring in Paris)

Trees are sprouting leaves, flowers are in bloom, sparrows sing wake-up melodies at dawn, and morning rain cleans the narrow cobble stone streets. It is spring in Paris. With spring sun giving a shimmer of warmth and sunlight from the dull, grey days of winter, people are donning sunglasses, hitting the cafés, and sitting outside on the terraces to take it all in. Children (and adults) tend to skip, not walk, and smile a little more as the sun now pierces through the clouds beating down on them. The jardins are now a venue for a pique-nique lunch, or afternoon snack. Read More »

Easter In Paris

servantPâques (Easter and Passover) in Paris is all about chocolate, easter eggs, and fun activities for children.  Windows of chocolate shops are lined with ornate chocolate eggs, some the size of American footballs, for sale (and eating) during the holiday.  Themes for this year are traditional, with ornate chocolates made in the shapes of hens, rabbits and birds nests.  Top chocolate shops, including Maison du Chocolate, Lenôtre , Pierre Herme, A La Mere de Famille, Jean Paul Hevin, Hediard, ServantDebauve & Gallais, all have different creations, with ornate eggs, chocolate bears, chocolate chickens and other hand-crafted chocolate pieces that are available only during Easter. Read More »

Lingerie Boutiques In Paris — Popular As The Baguette

There are a few things you will quickly notice about Paris:  a boulangerie on just about every block, a pharmacy on every other block, and upscale lingerie boutiques displaying their seductive wares as commonly as a baguette.  Unlike Victoria’s Secret, which appeals as strongly to men clientele as women, the lingerie boutiques are decidedly for women.  Indeed, men rarely step into these boutiques, and are usually shoved out the door given they simply have no clue what to buy.  And while Valentine’s Day may create some churn in business, let’s face it — these shops are busy all year round.  Now with the release of Fifty Shades of Grey, visiting Paris and these boutiques you will also see where the book and film got their inspiration. Read More »

Valentine’s Day in Paris

IMGP0527.JPGParis will always be a city synonymous with love, for most of us it’s the first place we come to when thinking of the perfect destination for a romantic break. This does mean however that many other couples will have the same idea of visiting The City of Light over the 14th February, so it’s important to plan ahead. If you are flying into Paris, certain airlines, like Air France may offer special deals on airfares over the Valentine’s weekend to encourage visitors, but do make sure you shop around for the best deal.

Once there an abundance of romantic things to do lie at your fingertips, here are some of the best to help you plan that perfect Valentine’s Day in Paris. Read More »

Wild Mushrooms In Paris

IMGP1835.JPGMushroom season is on the tail end, but still worthwhile to sort out special deals in restaurants (truffles, cepes, girolles) and markets.   The  marchés have mounds of fresh mushrooms for sale.  The best ones are girolles (what Americans call chantrelles) and cepes — big, meaty mushrooms the size of baseballs.  As Paris gets back to its rhythm, going to the marches may itself be an act of defiance but moreover, a necessary way to enjoy life as the French do so well — and buy a half kilo of cepes. Read More »